The Secretary, on request from an appropriate non-Federal interest in the form of a written notice of intent to construct a navigation project for a harbor or inland harbor under section
2232 of this title or this section, shall initiate procedures to establish a schedule for consolidating Federal, State, and local agency environmental assessments, project reviews, and issuance of all permits for the construction of the project, including associated access channels, berthing areas, and onshore port-related facilities, before the initiation of construction. The non-Federal interest shall submit, with the notice of intent, studies and documentation, including environmental reviews, that may be required by Federal law for decisionmaking on the proposed project. A State shall not be required to participate in carrying out this section.
(b) Procedural requirements
Within 15 days after receipt of notice under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall publish such notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary also shall provide written notification of the receipt of a notice under subsection (a) of this section to all State and local agencies that may be required to issue permits for the construction of the project or related activities. The Secretary shall solicit the cooperation of those agencies and request their entry into a memorandum of agreement described in subsection (c) of this section. Within 30 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register, State and local agencies that intend to enter into the memorandum of agreement shall notify the Secretary of their intent in writing.
(c) Scheduling agreement
Within 90 days after receipt of notice under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and any State or local agencies that have notified the Secretary under subsection (b) of this section shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary establishing a schedule of decisionmaking for approval of the project and permits associated with it and with related activities. Such schedule may not exceed two and one-half years from the date of the agreement.
(d) Contents of agreement
The agreement entered into under subsection (c) of this section, to the extent practicable, shall consolidate hearing and comment periods, procedures for data collection and report preparation, and the environmental review and permitting processes associated with the project and related activities. The agreement shall detail, to the extent possible, the non-Federal interest’s responsibilities for data development and information that may be necessary to process each permit, including a schedule when the information and data will be provided to the appropriate Federal, State, or local agency.
(e) Preliminary decision
The agreement shall include a date by which the Secretary, taking into consideration the views of all affected Federal agencies, shall provide to the non-Federal interest in writing a preliminary determination whether the project and Federal permits associated with it are reasonably likely to receive approval.
(f) Revision of agreement
The Secretary may revise the agreement once to extend the schedule to allow the non-Federal interest the minimum amount of additional time necessary to revise its original application to meet the objections of a Federal, State, or local agency which is a party to the agreement.
(g) Progress reports
Six months before the final date of the schedule, the Secretary shall provide to Congress a written progress report for each navigation project for a harbor or inland harbor subject to this section. The Secretary shall transmit the report to the Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate. The report shall summarize all work completed under the agreement and shall include a detailed work program that will assure completion of all remaining work under the agreement.
(h) Final decision
Not later than the final day of the schedule, the Secretary shall notify the non-Federal interest of the final decision on the project and whether the permit or permits have been issued.
(i) Report on timesavings methods
Not later than one year after November 17, 1986, the Secretary shall prepare and transmit to Congress a report estimating the time required for the issuance of all Federal, State, and local permits for the construction of navigation projects for harbors or inland harbors and associated activities. The Secretary shall include in that report recommendations for further reducing the amount of time required for the issuance of those permits, including any proposed changes in existing law.
Committee on Public Works and Transportation of House of Representatives treated as referring to Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of House of Representatives by section 1(a) ofPub. L. 104–14, set out as a note preceding section
21 of Title
2, The Congress.
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